True Knowledge: semantics done right

March 4, 2010

True Knowledge went into public beta last week. I’ve been playing around with the private beta for the better part of a year now, and there’s a lot I like about this system. So far, they haven’t received a fraction of the hype of some other knowledge bases (<cough> Wolfram|Alpha), but what they’re doing is more interesting, harder, and truly semantic.

One of the things I love about True Knowledge is that it exposes lineage. Run a query, click on the “How do we know this?” link at the bottom of the results, and you’ll see the facts and reasoning used to derive them. This visibility into the reasoning process should be standard operating procedure for any semantic application — without it, you have no way of assessing the quality of the information you’re getting. Lineage is noticeably absent from Wolfram|Alpha, which is one of my main complaints about it.

Similarly, True Knowledge lets you agree or disagree with any fact in their knowledgebase. You can edit existing facts, or contribute new ones. I like this because it means (a) there’s a model they’re computing over and (b) the model is extensible. And their UI is a great example of how to painlessly elicit complex information from end users.

True Knowledge is smartly done, model-driven, and really different than any other “semantic” system I’ve demoed to date (what with actually relying on semantics and all). It’s been interesting to watch True Knowledge evolve, and my hope is that they’ll not only succeed, but become the gold standard for semantic web apps to come.

Posted via email from Modelicious


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